Majongwe fails fans


Chimurenga music has always been known to be a genre with lyrics that are critical of social and political ills, advocating for peace and justice.

Through songs like Corruption, Mamvemve and Vana Kuhondo, the godfather of chimurenga music, Thomas Mapfumo, tackled topical issues in society and exposed questionable political decisions.

While many musicians tried to pursue this genre, their focus proved to be more on the beat than lyrical strength.

A musician who seemed to strike the right chord was Raymond Majongwe, whose song Dhiziri PaChinhoyi was a serious attack on the famous political boob when respected officials fell victim to a n’anga’s dubious claim that diesel was oozing from a rock in Chinhoyi.

While many chimurenga fans could have found immense value in this song, which was an ideal chimurenga composition, the musician has failed them by suddenly adopting a lukewarm approach to his music projects.

For years gone by, Majongwe would release albums without paying attention to time frames and he has many releases to his name.

But the musician and trade unionist recently revealed to NewsDay that he was no longer actively involved in mainstream music.

All other members of his band, Freedom Orchestra, are now performing with Talking Guitars because shows with Majongwe are now infrequent.

“I have released the band to do its own thing because I no longer stage shows that often. I have not staged a show for a long time but I am still in showbiz. I might have one show per month and I am planning to spread such performances to other parts of the country but people will not see me on stage as regularly as they would want,” said Majongwe.

The musician said he had decided to go underground musically because he had always been visited by “suspicious fans” at his shows.

“There were times when I would feel that some people were after me because my music is deemed politically incorrect in some political sectors. I could tell by their looks and actions that they were not happy about some songs that I performed.

“Some fans would always ask for songs like Dhiziri PaChinhoyi but I would not play the song confidently because of suspicious elements in the crowd.”

He said he had closed down a pub that he had opened in Chitungwiza because the “suspicious” visitors would always question him on numerous issues.

One of the Freedom Orchestra band members said they were surprised by Majongwe’s sudden turn of attitude towards music.

“He worked hard for the band and was determined to see it prosper but he is no longer the same. We have decided to form another band because we earn our living solely from music and Majongwe no longer has much interest in the art. He allowed us to do our own thing but we always help him when he needs our services,” said the band member.

While several other musicians still claim to be playing chimurenga music, no one seems prepared to make bold statements against the status quo.